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Look forth once more, Ximena! “Ah! the smoke
has roll'd away; And I see the Northern rifles gleaming down the
ranks of gray. Hark! that sudden blast of bugles! there the troop
of Minon wheels; There the Northern horses thunder, with the cannon
at their heels.
"Jesu, pity! how it thickens! now retreat and now
advance! Right against the blazing cannon shivers Puebla's
charging lance! Down they go, the brave young riders; horse and foot
together fall: Like a ploughshare in the fallow, through them ploughs
the Northern ball."
Nearer came the storm, and nearer, rolling fast and
frightful on: Speak, Ximena, speak and tell us, who has lost, and
who has won ? “Alas! alas! I know not; friend and foe together
fall, O'er the dying rush the living; pray, my sisters, for
"Lo! the wind the smoke is lifting: Blessed Mother,
save my brain! I can see the wounded crawling slowly out from heaps of slain.
Now they stagger, blind and bleeding; now they fall,
and strive to rise; Hasten, sisters, haste and save them, lest they die
before our eyes!
“O my heart's love! O my dear one! lay thy poor
head on my knee: Dost thou know the lips that kiss thee? Canst thou
hear me ? canst thou see? O my husband, brave and gentle! O my Bernal,
look once more On the blessed cross before thee! Mercy! mercy!
all is o'er!”
Dry thy tears, my poor Ximena; lay thy dear one
down to rest; Let his hands be meekly folded, lay the cross upon
his breast; Let his dirge be sung hereafter, and his funeral masses
said; To-day, thou poor bereaved one, the living ask thy
Close beside her, faintly moaning, fair and young, a
soldier lay, Torn with shot and pierced with lances, bleeding slow
his life away; But, as tenderly before him the lorn Ximena knelt, She saw the Northern eagle shining on his pistolbelt.
With a stifled cry of horror straight she turn'd away
her head; With a sad and bitter feeling look'd she back upon
her dead; But she heard the youth's low moaning, and his
struggling breath of pain, And she raised the cooling water to his parching lips
Whispered low the dying soldier, press'd her hand and
faintly smiled: Was that pitying face his mother's ? did she watch
beside her child ? All his stranger words with meaning her woman's
heart supplied; With her kiss upon his forehead, “Mother!” mur
mured he and died!
"A bitter curse upon them, poor boy, who led thee
forth, From some gentle sad-eyed mother, weeping, lonely,
in the North!” Spake the mournful Mexic woman, as she laid him
with her dead, And turn’d to soothe the living, and bind the wounds
Look forth once more, Ximena! “Like a cloud before
the wind Rolls the battle down the mountain, leaving blood and death behind;
Ah! they plead in vain for mercy; in the dust the
wounded strive; Hide your faces, holy angels! O thou Christ of God,
Sink, 0 night, among thy mountains! let the cool
gray shadows fall; Dying brothers, fighting demons, drop thy curtain
over all! Through the thickening winter twilight, wide apart
the battle roll’d, In its sheath the sabre rested, and the cannon's lips
But the noble Mexic women still their holy task pur
Through that long, dark night of sorrow, worn and
faint and lacking food; Over weak and suffering brothers, with a tender care
they hung, And the dying foeman bless’d them in a strange and
Not wholly lost, O Father! is this evil world of ours; Upward, through its blood and ashes, spring afresh
the Eden flowers; From its smoking hell of battle, Love and Pity send
And still thy white-wing'd angels hover dimly in our
THE BAREFOOT BOY
BY JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER
Blessings on thee, little
man, Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan! With thy turned-up pantaloons, And thy merry whistled tunes; With thy red lip, redder still Kissed by strawberries on the hill; With the sunshine on thy face, Through thy torn brim's jaunty grace; From my heart I give thee joy, I was once a barefoot boy! Prince thou art, - the grown-up man Only is republican. Let the million-dollared ride! Barefoot, trudging at his side, Thou hast more than he can buy In the reach of ear and eye, Outward sunshine, inward joy: Blessings on thee, barefoot boy!
O for boyhood's painless play, Sleep that wakes in laughing day, Health that mocks the doctor's rules, Knowledge never learned of schools, Of the wild bee's morning chase, Of the wild flower's time and place, Flight of fowl and habitude Of the tenants of the wood; How the tortoise bears his shell,